Violent Crime Will Rise in 2016

CrimeinAmerica#1

The Brennan Center for Justice recently offered data regarding violence in America’s thirty largest cities. The bottom-line is that violent crime increased in 13, decreased in 8, another 8 did not provide data and 1 had no increase or decrease.

Some cities had enormous increases such as Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Charlotte, and three cities (Baltimore, Chicago and D.C.) accounted for more than half of the increases in homicides.

Fear Of Crime Increases

These finding are coupled with new data as to fear of crime. Americans’ level of concern about crime and violence is at its highest point in 15 years, says a new Gallup survey. Fifty-three percent of U.S. adults say they personally worry “a great deal” about crime and violence, an increase of 14 percentage points since 2014. Gallup said the figure is the highest the firm has measured since March 2001.

See http://www.gallup.com/poll/190475/americans-concern-crime-climbs-year-high.aspx

Analysis

It’s important to acknowledge that the Unites States has seen lower levels of crime and violence in recent years, and decreases in violence (with minor exceptions) for more than twenty years, see http://www.crimeinamerica.net/crime-rates-united-states/.

Some criminologists suggest that we have never been safer.

But endless media reports of cities with significant increases in violence and homicides, plus recent riots regarding police activities, coupled with news reports of law enforcement personnel decreasing their enforcement “contacts” are collectively making the nation wary.

Will violent crime and homicides increase? They did for the nation in 2015 and if you look at long-range data from the FBI, it’s rare for crime to increase for one year only, thus it’s likely to continue increasing in 2016 as well.

We may be statistically safer than previous years, but the nation isn’t feeling it. The increase in violence and homicides may be in some cities and not others, but American level of concern about crime and violence is at its highest point in 15 years.

We are at a crossroads as to public perception, and it would be wise to acknowledge this. Criminologists and advocates are concerned that we could lose momentum as to changing incarceration and law enforcement policies, however necessary those changes may be.

We can’t suggest that a new crime wave is coming but we can submit the probability that, based on historic data from the FBI, things will get worse before they get better.

Maybe it’s time we acknowledge we have a problem, however temporary it may be, and propose reasonable solutions before violent crime gets worse and starts harming cities, jobs and economic development.

There’s much at stake. Denial is not an option.

The findings from the Brennan Center for Justice:

  • Violent crime rose slightly, by 3.1 percent in 2015. This result was primarily caused by increasing violence in Los Angeles (25.2 percent), Baltimore (19.2 percent), and Charlotte (15.9 percent). Notably, aggravated assaults in Los Angeles account for more than half of the national rise in violent crime.
  • The 2015 murder rate rose by 13.2 percent in the 30 largest cities, with 19 cities seeing increases and 6 decreases. However, in absolute terms, murder rates are so low that a small numerical increase can lead to a large percentage change.
  • Final data confirm that three cities (Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.) account for more than half (244) of the national increase in murders. While this suggests cause for concern in some cities, murder rates vary widely from year to year, and there is little evidence of a national coming wave in violent crime. These serious increases seem to be localized, rather than part of a national pandemic, suggesting that community conditions remain the major factor. Notably, these three cities all seem to have falling populations, higher poverty rates, and higher unemployment than the national average. This implies that economic deterioration of these cities could be a contributor to murder increases.

Source: https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/crime-2015-final-analysis

 

 

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